Ian and Sam

Ian gains respect, self-confidence with Big Brother’s help

Ian, now 16 years old, was enrolled in Big Brothers Big Sisters in January 2004. He lives alone with his mother and has never known his father. He was first matched when he was 10 years old, and that lasted for one year before his Big had to move away for employment. It was a successful match, and his Mother, Jane, wanted this to continue for him. He was matched again one year later with his present Big Brother, Sam.

Ian’s mother, Jane, was having trouble raising a son by herself, and discipline was difficult at times. Ian was always testing her and talking back, so she was looking for a strong male influence to help guide Ian. Sam was vice president at Habitat for Humanity at the time and was instrumental in helping Jane and Ian get a new home. Sam became a very strong influence in Ian’s life and has taught Ian many things. They now have been matched for more than five years, and because of having Sam in his life, Ian says he has learned to be more respectful, to persevere and how to ride a motorcycle. Ian says Sam helps him deal with life, he feels he has someone who he can share anything with, and because of Sam, Ian no longer gets into fights at school or at home.

Jane reports that Ian’s academic performance, his attitude toward school and self-confidence is much better. And this last term at school, he didn’t flunk any classes. Ian now works at a mill works business in town with the skills that he has learned from his Big Brother. He also has access to many activities that he may not have if he had not been in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. In addition to learning about building a house, he has learned how to ski, gone rafting and taken the train from Durango to Silverton. Big Brothers Big Sisters introducing him to his mentor has opened up the world for this child.